Share Our Stories

Consider publicly acknowledging and talking about our identity

Teachers who identify with a socially marginalized group have the potential to become positive role models for success and achievement for youth who share this identity. Young people who are LGBTQ or from racialized groups may lack positive role models elsewhere in their lives due to a wide range of social factors (see Understanding Racism, Sexism and Homophobia). 

For LGBTQ youth, the self-hatred that arises from the silence and invisibility around sexual diversity can be overcome when they have a teacher who is “out”. For racialized youth, having a teacher who is strong, proud and clear about personal identification with the community can be empowering.

Of course, teachers from marginalized groups are as vulnerable as our students in schools where differences are not accepted. As teachers, we know our schools and are best placed to judge if we are working in an environment that allows us to acknowledge and talk about our personal identity.